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Seoul, South Korea
Birth Sign
Seoul, South Korea

Choi Seung-Hyun, a rapper and actor from South Korea, goes by the stage name T.O.P. He is best known as one of the five rappers of the K-pop boy band Big Bang, along with G-Dragon, Taeyang, Daesung, and Seungri. He and his band entered the K-pop scene, which is infamous for creating trained bubblegum groups that lack originality, but they added rap, R&B, and dance aspects to pop, and they have received much appreciation for their uniqueness. The group rose to fame not only in Korea, Japan, and the surrounding nations but also abroad, ranking on the US Billboard 200 and winning prizes at the MTV “Europe Music Awards.” In addition, he actively pursued a solo career, frequently working with his bandmates and other musicians. In addition, he tried his hand at acting, making appearances on the South Korean TV shows “I Am Sam” and “Iris” and starring in films including “19-Nineteen,” “71: Into the Fire,” “Commitment,” “Tazza: The Hidden Card,” and “Out of Control.” By making his debut as a furniture designer and working with the company Vitra, he furthered his professional development and won the “Visual Culture Award” at the “Prudential Eye Awards.”

Early Childhood & Life

On November 4, 1987, Choi Seung-Hyun, better known as T.O.P, was born in Seoul, South Korea. He has an elder sister named Choi Hye-Yoon and is very close to his mother.

Choi Seung-Hyun, a shy and sensitive youngster, frequently skipped school and returned home because he found socializing with his friends to be so unpleasant. He eventually graduated from Seoul Art College with a degree in Musical and enrolled at Dangook University to study Theater & Film in 2008.

He first became interested in rapping while he was in the fourth or fifth grade and started listening to the American rapper The Notorious B.I.G. He performed dance and rap routines with Kwon Ji-Yong, a neighbor and future bandmate of G-Dragon.

Career in Music

T.O.P. began rapping in his adolescent years under the guise of TEMPO, and after the release of his song “Buckwild” with NBK Gray, he rose to prominence as an underground rapper. He triumphed in the 2003 KBS Radio “Rap Battle” competition.

Kwon Ji-Yong, a friend from middle school who had moved away to pursue his musical aspirations, had fallen out of touch with him. Ji-Yong, who at the time was a trainee at YG Entertainment, got in touch with him in 2006 when the company expressed interest in forming a boy band.

Ji-Yong assisted him in recording demos, which he delivered to Yang Hyun-suk, CEO of YG Entertainment, who called him for an audition for the potential boy band. He initially didn’t get the job because he was deemed “too overweight” to be an idol. But he was so motivated to work for the studio that he lost 20 kg in 40 days and was able to get a job six months later after another audition.

He was given the stage moniker “T.O.P” by singer Se7en, a senior at YG Entertainment, and was one of two rappers in the group of six musicians that made up the boy band “Big Bang.” Although Jang Hyun-Seung was dropped before the group’s official debut, the group also comprised his friend and fellow rapper Kwon Ji-Yong (G-Dragon), Taeyang, Daesung, and Seungri.

For publicity purposes, the band’s initial training routine was featured on television. On the other hand, there were conflicting reviews for their debut album, “Big Bang Vol. 1,” which was released on December 22, 2006. It included his debut solo single, “Big Boy,” for which he authored both the music and the lyrics.

On August 16, 2007, they followed with the release of the EP “Always.” “Lies,” the album’s debut single, was hailed by Billboard as one of South Korea’s “most unforgettable songs” and became the group’s first number-one success.

Their two EPs’ lead singles, “Last Farewell” from “Hot Issue” and “Day by Day” from “Stand Up,” met the expectations that “Lies” raised. The latter became one of the most popular singles ever in South Korea, while the former led the internet charts for 8 weeks in a row.

The group debuted in the Japanese music market in January 2008 with their first Japanese EP, “For the World,” then on August 19, 2009, they issued their self-titled debut Japanese album. On November 5, 2008, the group’s second Korean album, “Remember,” was made available. It featured two singles that peaked at Nos. 1 and 2 on the Gaon Music Chart.

He collaborated with G-Dragon in 2010 to release the album “GD & TOP,” which featured his debut solo single “Turn It Up” as a bonus track, while his band was on hiatus. With the 2011 EP “Tonight,” his band staged a comeback. Their subsequent EP, “Alive,” became the first K-Pop record to chart on the “US Billboard 200” list.

On December 16, 2013, he released his solo album “Doom Dada” following the band’s three-year break. With the release of the album “MADE,” which had eight singles, including five top-charting songs, “Big Bang” made a powerful comeback in 2016.

Career in Acting

T.O.P made his acting debut in the middle of 2007 in the music video for Korean artist Red Roc’s song “Hello.” He soon made his acting debut with a significant part in the South Korean drama series “I Am Sam.”

He portrayed one of the three stars in the South Korean-Japanese thriller “19-Nineteen,” which was released in 2009 and also starred Seungri from his band. He was chosen to play the mysterious assassin Vick in the critically acclaimed spy TV drama series “Iris” that same year.

Critics praised him for his performance in the 2010 military drama movie “71: Into the Fire.” In 2011’s Japanese adaptation of “Iris,” he returned to the role, and in 2013’s South Korean spy thriller “Commitment,” he played the protagonist.

He was chosen for the lead part in the 2014 movie Tazza: The Hidden Card, which is about gambling. In the German-Chinese action thriller “Out of Control,” which will be released in China in 2017, he most recently starred alongside actress Cecilia Cheung.

T.O.P’s most acclaimed film to date is Major Works ’71: Into the Fire, for which he has won numerous awards for “Best New Actor.” The most popular of his albums, “MADE” from “Big Bang,” sold over six million copies in China alone.

Recognition & Achievements

T.O.P won two wins for his movie “71: Into the Fire” at the 31st Blue Dragon Film Awards in 2010 and two more at the BaekSang Arts Awards in 2011. Along with countless nominations and victories at regional award events across Asia, his band “Big Bang” won two awards at the 2011 MTV “Europe Music Awards”.

Personal Legacy & Life

The authorities began pursuing T.O.P for marijuana use with former aspirant idol Han Seo Hee on June 5, 2017, four months into his two-year required military duty. He was discovered comatose the next day from an overdose of anti-anxiety medication and was sent to the hospital.

Estimated Net Worth

Rapper T.O.P from South Korea has a $12 million dollar fortune. In November 1987, T.O.P. was born in Seoul, South Korea.

He was a member of the boy band Big Bang and a solo artist by the name Choi Seung-Hyun. The 2016 album Made in 2016 by Big Bang peaked at number one on the charts in the US, Japan, and Korea.


T.O.P’s mother and teachers even tried to hide his shoes to prevent him from leaving school. He continued going home barefoot despite that, though.